Paul Manafort Allegedly Shared 2016 Polling With Russia-Linked Associate

Paul Manafort’s botched court filing shows he colluded with an alleged Russian intelligence asset

The disclosure emerged in a legal brief filed by Manafort's defense lawyers, who are resisting the idea he intentionally lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, lies that the investigators said should torpedo his plea deal.

Paul Manafort had almost a month to respond to allegations that he lied to the Special Counsel's Office when he was supposed to be cooperating with them as part of his plea deal in his Washington, D.C. federal money laundering case.

The filing also said that any "misstatements" made by Manafort, to federal prosecutors were "unintentional" and he would not seek a hearing to contest the allegation he lied.

The filing contains new details about his connection to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted a year ago on charges he tampered with potential witnesses. Sections of the filing were meant to be redacted, but the text underneath several blacked-out lines could be copied and viewed.

Kevin Downing, attorney for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, enters a hotel across from the U.S. District Court, in Alexandria, Virginia, on October 19, 2018.

Prosecutors say Manafort's lies breached their plea agreement.

Manafort reached the plea agreement with Mueller in September after a jury found him guilty of eight charges of tax evasion and bank fraud by a jury in the USA state of Virginia in August.

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The latest allegations further detail how Manafort's work on the campaign intersected with his past global work with Kilimnik.

In August, Manafort, 69, was convicted of financial fraud relating to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine, which pre-dated his role with Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

Lawyers say Manafort suffers from depression and anxiety, has had little contact with his family and, on days when he met with investigators, was awakened before dawn to have hours-long interviews with little time to prepare for the questioning. The Russian citizen, who began working for Manafort's consulting firm starting in 2005, has been charged with helping his former boss to obstruct Mueller's investigation of Russian interference into the 2016 election.

In both cases, Manafort copped to the "additional meetings or communications" he hadn't initially disclosed after the special counsel "shared evidence" with him, according to the documents. While the redactions don't specifically mention the Trump campaign by name, they do mention the "2016 presidential campaign". It is unclear whether the polling data was related to the briefings for Deripaska.

Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defence lawyers also deny.

Mueller's team and attorneys for Manafort agreed in court last month to conduct informal discussions about the alleged lies before defense counsel responded. The lawyers say they don't want a separate hearing before a judge on the lying allegations but will address them instead during the sentencing process.

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